The College of New Jersey

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Deaf Ed Certification FAQs

1. When do I apply for NJ certification?

Apply for NJ certification through the TCNJ Certification Office during your last semester of coursework or practicum. You are eligible for New Jersey Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing as:

  • Teacher of the Deaf or Hard of Hearing, K – 12 Oral/Aural
  • Teacher of the Deaf or Hard of Hearing, K – 12 Sign Communication (requires an intermediate score on the SLPI)
  • Elementary Education Teacher (K – 6)

The TCNJ Certification Office will apply to the State of New Jersey for you.

2. Does NJ require me to take any tests for initial certification in DHH?

NJ does not currently require a specific test for your initial certification as a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Auditory/Oral. You must however take the certification tests required for certification as an elementary school teacher. For NJ certification as a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Sign Communication, you must take and pass the SLPI at the intermediate level or higher.

3. How do I obtain information about the Praxis Exams?

Information about the tests is available at ETS

4. Does NJ require me to take any tests for initial certification in Elementary Education?

Yes. Detailed information about which tests you must take can be found on the TCNJ Certification/Praxis Website. You should take any and all such tests during your undergraduate senior year.

5. Am I eligible for any NJ endorsements on my certification?

After receiving the initial certificates (#2 and #4 above), according to current policy, you are eligible for the New Jersey Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing to teach at the high school level based upon the following:

A. You hold a certificate through an approved teacher preparation program (# 2 and #4 above).
B. You have completed 30 semester hours of college course work in a content licensure area (This would include Arts/Science majors in biology, English, History, math or Spanish. Note that Arts/Science majors in psychology and sociology do not have a content licensure area.) Students who have majored in Math/Science/Technology or in Women and Gender Studies and have 15 semester hours of course work in one content area may be eligible for the middle school endorsement in that area.
C. You have taken and passed the appropriate content area Praxis II Subject Assessment(s). The TCNJ Certification/Praxis website does offer information about which tests you should be taking. Please note that the test numbers may change so you should consult the ETS web site for the most current test # information.
D. To receive an additional NJ Endorsement, obtain a certification application form a NJ County Superintendent’s Office and apply for the endorsement. Note that this must be done after you have an initial certification. A list of County Superintendent Offices is available online. Click on “Directory of NJ County Offices of Education”.

Currently, the NJ State Department of Education approves qualified elementary education candidates to receive additional endorsements for teaching in middle school subject areas, under the title of “Elementary teacher with subject matter specialization” (grades 5-8) . This does not apply to students whose second major was psychology, sociology, art or music. Eligible candidates who hold NJ elementary teacher certification may apply for one or more of the four endorsements (English, mathematics, social studies, science) based upon completion of the following:

A. Candidates hold a NJ elementary teacher certificate ( or have graduated and certification documents along with the colleges’ recommendation for the elementary teacher C.E.A.S. were submitted to the State; and

B. Passing scores on the appropriate Praxis exam(s) are on file in the NJ Department of Education. Please note that the test numbers may change so you should consult the ETS web site for the most current test # information; and

C. 15 credits in the appropriate subject area appear on 4-year college transcripts. * NJ “Elementary teacher with subject matter” endorsements are available in the following areas: English, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science. ** and

D. Complete a course which includes the study of “characteristics of young adolescents.”

After completing the above requirements, candidates must:

E. Request an application from any NJ County Superintendent of Schools Office, (CSS) most likely Mercer County (home of TCNJ) or the “home” county of the candidate. Candidates then compile the completed application, transcript(s), certification fee, etc., and return documents to the CSS. The CSS forwards materials to the NJ State Office of Licensing for processing and issuance of certificates directly to applicants.

Please note that endorsements are valid only in New Jersey and are not recognized in any other state, as the credential is not based upon completion of an approved teacher preparation program in the subject area for middle school teaching.

* There are no specific lists of approved courses for the 15 credits. If the course prefix is ENGL, MATH, or any science, it is acceptable in the appropriate area. In Social studies, at least 1 history course is required; other acceptable courses in social studies are government, political science, sociology, geography, anthropology, and economics.

** Middle School foreign language endorsements are available. Praxis tests are the same as required for NJ high school language teachers – 15 credits and a passing score on the “oral proficiency interview” in the target language are required.

6. How do I obtain certification in Pennsylvania?

Information about Pennsylvania certification and applications for Pennsylvania are available on the web. ( Under “Access Services, click on “Teacher Certification System “.) Send the TCNJ STEP Certification Office the “College/University Verification Form–PDE338 A. TCNJ however, does NOT apply to PA for your certification. You are responsible for this yourself.

PA certification requires math and English preparation–6 sh in college level mathematics and 3 sh (or the equivalent) in college level English composition and 3 sh in college level English literature.

For PA licensure, you must take several exams. As exam requirements and Praxis numbers change, check the ETS website for information on which exams are required.

Prior to employment, PA requires that all teachers:

  1. File a criminal history report
  2. Be fingerprinted
  3. File a child abuse report

Pennsylvania Department of Education provides detailed information on their website.

Some schools may also require the above of student teachers. It is the student teacher’s responsibility to contact the practicum site to see if these materials are necessary. Each of the above requires a fee in the form of a certified check or money order. The required forms may also be available at the school in which you will be working or student teaching. Be sure to leave enough time to complete the above requirements prior to the beginning of student teaching or employment.

7. Will my NJ Certifications be recognized by other states?

Each state will require you to apply for certification. Your NJ Teacher of the Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Elementary Education Certificates should be recognized by most other states, though you may need to take state required exam(s). NJ endorsements are not recognized by other states.

Certificate testing requirements differ from state to state. Certificate testing requirements are subject to change. The Praxis web site gives useful information about certificate testing requirements. Each individual state’s department of education web site gives state-specific testing requirements.

8. How do I obtain Council on Education of the Deaf (CED) certification?

Applications are available on the web. Download the application and return it along with a check to the Deaf Education Coordinator. This should be done during your last semester of classes. The coordinator will mail your application to CED.

9. What is the New Jersey Health & Hygiene Test and must I take it?

If you have not taken SCI 104 or a college level biology class, you must take the NJ Health & Hygiene Test. This test is given by the TCNJ Certification Office. Contact that office for more information.

10. How does NJ define “highly qualified”?

The NJ State DOE web site fully defines what a highly qualified teacher is. The policy regarding “flexibility for special education teachers” is included in The New Jersey Model for Identifying Highly Qualified Teachers.

11. How do I obtain certification in a state other than NJ or PA?

Each state sets its own standards for teacher certification. Therefore, an applicant must contact the state in which they would like to obtain certification. A list of state certification offices is available to help you with this process. The college however, does not process your certification for any state except New Jersey.

12. How do I obtain P-3 certification in NJ?

Preschool teachers, including those working in special education settings, require a P-3 Certification. Upon completion of the Deaf Education Program, graduates earn a K-12 certification in education of the D/HH and a K-5 certification in elementary education. (Some restrictions related to Highly Qualified apply to the D/HH certification at the middle and high school levels.)

A TCNJ Deaf Education graduate would be eligible for a P-3 Endorsement after:

1-completion of 13 semester hours of study in early childhood pedagogy (see below for information about State approved coursework at TCNJ ) and

2-completion of one year of teaching under the Teacher of the Deaf or Hard of Hearing Certification and

3-application on-line to NJ State for the P-3 CEAS which requires Praxis test (# 0022 or 5022) in early childhood education

TCNJ’s P-3 Early Childhood Certification course of study is:

ECED 504 Teaching Young Children 3 sh

ECED 620 Multicultural and Social Foundations of Emergent and Early Literacy 3 sh

ECED 560 Curriculum Experiences for Young Children 3 sh

ECED 640 Development and Learning of the Young Child 4 sh

Need more information about certification?

The TCNJ Certification Office, a Division of STEP, provides certification-related information and services to current, former, and prospective students. The office serves as a vital link between state certification-issuing agencies and TCNJ departments, programs, and administrative offices.

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